Zimbabwe reports 31 percent rise in exports

MARONDERA, ZIMBABWE - FEBRUARY 25: A farm manager at Nhimbe Fresh Exports inspects the tobacco leaves on February 25, 2021 in Marondera, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is the largest grower of tobacco in Africa and the crop is the country's largest agricultural export. (Photo by Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images)

Zimbabwe’s exports rose by 31 percent to $2.02 billion between January and May this year compared to $1.53 billion during the same period last year, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A farm manager at Nhimbe Fresh Exports inspects the tobacco leaves in Marondera, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is the largest grower of tobacco in Africa and the crop is the country’s largest agricultural export. (Photo by Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images)

The major contributors to this rise, according to data from ZimTrade, the national trade and development and promotion body, were unprocessed tobacco and mining products which contributed 80.9 percent and 11.7 percent respectively. Primary goods, however, formed most of the southern African nation’s exports.

There was also an increase of 76.62 percent in exports of clothing, footwear and textiles from $11.3 million to 19.95 million.

“Trade has been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic across the world, but Zimbabwe’s exports show resilience as they continue on an upward trend,” ZimTrade said.

The top export destination for Zimbabwean goods was South Africa (40 percent) followed by the United Arab Emirates (19 percent) and Mozambique (nine percent). South Africa’s share of Zimbabwe’s exports rose four percent compared to a similar period last year while the UAE and Mozambique declined by four and one percent respectively.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia were also identified as some of the emerging markets in search of Zimbabwean goods.

However, imports into the country during the same period rose by 29.8 percent to $2.43 billion with fuel, electricity, machinery and equipment and motor vehicles and their parts accounting for majority of the spare parts.

Consequently, Zimbabwe reported an increase in its trade deficit of $416 million for the stated period up from $340 million recorded during a similar period last year.